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My Annual Review

Create or/and clarify your dreams!

As I have shown in this article, to create breakthroughs and good surprises in your life rather than collapses and unpleasant surprises, the theories of chaos teach us that it is important to have a beacon in the storm, a dream, a strange attractor.

This is especially true in times of crisis and transition.

The start of the year is for me a privileged time to imagine, create and clarify my dreams for the year.

 

The view from my house in Thailand last year

 

You can do your annual review at any time of the year. Personally, I love doing it at the start of the year. It always gives me great energy.

 

The view from my house in the South of France this year

The Process

This annual review (which you can do at any time of the year!) will allow you in three steps to:

  1. Reflect on and learn from the past year
  2. Take a picture of the present and ensure the transition to the future
  3. Start building the year ahead

You can then use this tool as much as needed in your personal and professional life.

Learn From the Past

To begin :

Enter a meditative bubble. No distractions. Phone off!

 

 

Fear setting: list your fears using the phrase “when it comes to creating my vision I’m afraid that…”

Get the fears out first, just be aware of them 🙂

Come back to the meditative bubble, rest in a witnessing state, then navigate each past 12 months on a return trip.

What are the highs, what are the lows, what are the giving moments?

You simply start contemplating your past 12 months and see what comes to mind in the form of memories. Write down what comes up as meaningful. Allow yourself to bounce around in your timeline. Maybe you remember something that happened last month, then something that happened 9 months ago, and then another thing that happened 3 months ago.

You can also focus your attention on one life domain at a time and recollect what has happened in each domain. For example, you can focus on the ‘Work’ life domain and ask, “What has happened in my life in the last year with work, vocation, career?” Write down what comes up.

Examples of life domains:

  • Romantic relationships
  • Friendships
  • Family
  • Work
  • Creativity
  • Finances
  • Emotions
  • Spirituality
  • Mental/Knowing/Wisdom
  • Health
  • Fun, recreation
  • Society
  • Self-care
  • Parenting
  • Nature
  • Etc.

You can also bring particular flavors of experience to mind, and see if you have any memories emerge about the past 12 months. An example is ‘disorienting’, as in ‘What disorienting experiences did I have this past year?”, and you see what comes to mind, write down details.

Examples of flavors of experience:

  • Painful
  • Heart-opening
  • Confusing
  • Exciting
  • Rewarding
  • Calming
  • Nourishing
  • Strengthening
  • Excruciating
  • Settling
  • Clarifying
  • Disorienting

Then:

• Check your calendar for the past year (if you are using one) to find even more highs and lows (usually you can’t remember everything!)

• If you have a journal, check it out for more ups and downs

• Review your photos of the year on your phone (or elsewhere)

Now you are ready to discover a deeper meaning from your most significant experiences: what lessons can I learn from these events?

Indeed, the universe sends you something to help you evolve … and the universe will send it to you again and again until you understand the lesson. So better to learn the right lessons from what is happening to us 🙂

To help you, especially if this is your first time doing this exercise, you can ask yourself the following questions for each event:

  • What did I learn about myself and life?
  • Who was I in that moment?
  • How did I feel in my body?
  • How did the world look in that moment?
  • What did I learn about myself?
  • What did I learn about others?
  • What did I learn about the world?
  • What changed?

Great! It’s now over for reflecting about the past! Take a break, move around, drink, go out for some fresh air …

Snapshot of the Present

The goal of this part is to take a snapshot of your current life in order to make the transition from the previous step (reflecting on the past) to the next step (building the future).

 

 

Take 3 deep breaths and write in free writing what comes to mind for each subsequent word.

Don’t try to organize or classify. Do not judge. Let it come to you… Then give a score from 1 to 10 for each area.

Get it all out to clear the path!

    1. finances
    2. career/work
    3. friendships
    4. family
    5. love / sex / intimate relationships
    6. health
    7. Self-care
    8. spirituality or religion
    9. self-expression
    10. Creativity
    11. Fun recreation
    12. giving
    13. personal development
    14. overall quality of life

Well done! Take a break, get moving, drink, get out in the fresh air!

Invent and Design Your Future

You are now ready to create your dreams for the year to come.

Settle back into your meditative bubble, go for a walk in nature, by the water, in a park …

And take these questions (or just one of them) with you:

  • what I want to achieve this year is…
  • who I want to become this year is…
  • what I want that I’m afraid to admit to myself is…
  • my perfect day looks like…
  • each day I feel…
  • I’m grateful for…
  • Etc.

You can apply these questions to the different categories of the previous exercise (the Snapshot of the present).

As ideas come up write them down. Or if you prefer, write down what you remember at the end of your mediation or walk. Do what is most natural for you.

Don’t try to answer questions, let the vision emerge naturally.

Don’t try to organize or classify. Make spelling mistakes!

And if nothing emerges today, don’t worry! Start over on another day. You have plenty of time 🙂

The next day or a few days later. Take your notes and there you can, if you wish, organize or classify.

You can also add photos.

Only two things may need to be corrected:

Write everything in the present tense. For example “I have my driving license” and not “I will have my driving license”
Write everything in a positive way. For example “I eat a healthy and balanced diet” and not “I stop eating sweets”

And finally, you can create a theme for the year: a word or a short phrase that sums up your coming year, your dreams.

For example, the year of love, the year of changing my job, the year of travel, etc.

Bravo!

You now have your vision for the coming year, your dream, your strange attractor that you can start to visualize every day.

And this is just a first draft. It may be just a few words or a few sentences today that will grow richer day after day …

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